We offer early-stage strategic guidance to nonprofit clients considering fundraising campaigns for significant physical growth or future endowments. 

If you’re a nonprofit executive or board member who has had any experience with launching a capital campaign, you know that the early stages are the most difficult and consequential.

It is during this critical period—usually well before you bring in the fundraising consultants—that you must set campaign goals, develop a case statement, and nail down the campaign name and key messages.

With decades of experience in nonprofit research, branding, and marketing, we can work with your team from the outset to review goals, identify pitfalls, and offer constructive insights.

Building early consensus is critical

The successful rollout of major fundraising campaigns require extraordinary discipline, focus, and consensus within leadership circles. We can initiate and guide conversations to help executive officers and directors explore sensitive topics and articulate fundraising challenges well before the campaign begins.

Our role is not the fundraising per se. Our role is to collaborate with you in preparing the runway—to make sure all campaign ambassadors are perfectly aligned with a common vision and coherent messages.

Essentials & options

Depending on your goals and your reach, your capital campaign will be planned for a rollout over a period ranging from one year to perhaps five years. Some campaigns run longer, but extended time horizons often result in losses in momentum or shifting focus and goals.

The amount of work required and the number of decisions that must be made should not be underestimated. Campaigns can include many moving parts that must be coordinated, often according to complex timelines. What elements should you consider during campaign strategy and planning?

The essentials include:

  • Review of your organization’s current strategic plan, if one exists;
  • Review of the campaign case statement, if one exists;
  • In-depth conversations with leadership, especially board members on the campaign committee;
  • Report of findings and insights to executive team, followed by discussion;
  • Revision of the case statement, if necessary, or drafting of a case statement if one does not exist; and
  • Development of a position statement and a messaging platform specifically for the campaign.

Options include:

  • Qualitative research with one or more cohorts of prospective donors;
  • Campaign naming;
  • Design of the campaign identity and brand standards;
  • Development of a campaign book for print or digital distribution;
  • A modular packet, including one-page inserts, for major donors during the quiet phase;
  • A campaign microsite;
  • Campaign video(s);
  • Public awareness planning;
  • Social media strategy and planning;
  • Event planning;
  • Event invitations and collateral; and
  • Donor “thank you” planning and collateral.